Shaikh Al- Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Some people have a disease of criticizing all the time. They forget the good about others and only mention the faults. They are like flies that avoid the good and pure places and land on the bad and wounds. This is because of the evil within the self and the spoiled nature.”
This is a reminder, firstly to myself, to be more gentle with the muslims and not to criticize what faults you may find in others. All of us are far from perfect and we all make mistakes and have our shortcomings. I often find myself criticizing other muslims on how they carry themselves, what knowledge they lack, how they dress, or sometimes even for the way they treat me. But the reality is, I’m not in their shoes, I don’t know their situation or circumstances, I don’t know their upbringing or their journey. I have my faults and if I were to find others criticizing me because of them, I would be hurt and angry.
Sometimes we talk about muslims like we talk about the kuffar or worse, when we should deal with our brothers and sisters with gentleness. I’ve heard many stories from sisters about rude and discouraging experiences they’ve had as new shahadahs or coming to a new masjid and it breaks my heart because that could have been something to turn that sister away from Islam altogether.
We are all only imperfect human beings. We cannot place expectations on others, that we cannot even place upon ourselves.
Reading this quote, I sighed knowing that this applied to me and I’m going to make a real effort to change this. To give muslims the benefit of the doubt and make excuses for them. And realize that they have flaws just like me.